Lovin’ It

45% of Americans are satisfied with their jobs.

Which means if you are, the next person you encounter today probably isn’t. A sobering thought if you’re responsible for managing your company.

All of which entirely ignores whether satisfied is a measurement we should be striving for in the first place.

Passionate seems like a better threshold. The kind that comes when we believe what we’re doing is contributing to something significant.

Great companies are evangelical. They are clear about what they’re building, passionate and consistent in how they articulate that vision, and realistic about which people can help them get there. And which ones can’t.

A distinction that separates supporting employees from enabling.

Building an evangelical company requires finding the story that separates you from everyone else.

A skill missed by even the great brands.

Take McDonald’s.

McDonald’s is a remarkable business. They serve 58 million people a day. Which is tantamount to feeding all of Great Britain. Every 24 hours. It makes one wonder what they might be able to do managing health care.

I have spent a lot of time at McDonald’s - the corporation - at various stages in my career. It is a company that elicits pride and passion among its executives.

But it is a company that has also systematically focused on the wrong story.

The food. An area which they have done much to address over the last few years. But which still remains a bigger obstacle than it does a benefit.

People don’t go to McDonald’s for the food. They go because they know what they will get.


And a great experience for their kids. Which is why McDonald’s distributes more toys than anyone except Mattel.

Those two attributes are global truths. And helps to explain why, as Thomas Friedman points out in his excellent book The Lexus and the Olive Tree no two countries that have a McDonald’s have ever gone to war.

I don’t think either of us would theorize that the solution to world peace is simply to build McDonald’s.

But what is undeniable is that McDonald’s brings people together.

And that’s as evangelical as it gets.